Jul 092014
 

February was a good month.  We used our tax return and paid off the last bit of our car!  I wish it was the mortgage but I will take what I can.  Even though I can, I am leery about taking off the comprehensive insurance.   No sooner than we had it paid off, things started to be….not quite right.

Does everyone know what kind of power steering fluid they need to use?  Most people would say “power steering fluid of course.  What kind of a stupid question is that?”.  Turns out it is not a stupid question if you drive a Chrysler vehicle.  That includes all Dodge and I am assuming Jeep as well as Plymouth.  Seems that somewhere in the early part of this century the engineers at Chrysler decided that power steering fluid is not good enough and the whole system needs to be filled with Transmission Fluid.  And they have their own transmission fluid too.  (use ATF+4 folks)

It is very disconcerting to warm up the car so you can take the kids to school and when you come back ready to go, there is a huge pool of transmission fluid on the ground.  It was really bad because the transmission was just over a year old and it took over a month to get done.  But that is another post.  So a huge pool of fluid on the ground and a strange sucking sound darn near made me need to go change my pants.

Luckily, when I got under the thing it was only a hose that had burst.  A quick internet search informed me of the tranny fluid fiasco and it was an easy fix.  I just have a lovely stain on my driveway to show for it.

This is also the time when little things start to break and fall apart inside the car.  And then it makes funny noises that makes me think broken steering support.  An then there is one warped rotor that is not too bad but makes the thing shake like crazy if you are braking from faster than 30 mph.  You get the idea.

But at least it is our car now.  There are days that I hope one of those tailgaiters will just plow into me so we can upgrade.  Without the kids inside of course.

Any other crazy post paid off stories?  I would love to hear them.  Comments and email are below.  I am also kicking around a “minor car repair” forum/information dump thing if anyone would be interested.  There are so many things that sound impressive coming from a mechanic but take some basic tools and an hour of time to fix.  Take brakes for instance.  A new set of front pads installed will run you at least $100 at a shop.  You can do the same job with a couple of socket wrenches, a C clamp and $15-$50 worth of brake pads.  I go with the lifetime warranty ones that are on the lower end and are $23.  I can do a set now in about 45 minutes and that includes a bathroom break.

Maybe I will do an ebook series of repairs as my car falls apart.

Until next time,

Justin

  2 Responses to “When the car is paid off, it falls apart!”

  1. Cars paid off years ago. Wish we could afford new ones (or newer ones) but for now they keep running with manageable maintenance costs. Now for the house.

    • house is too far away to even worry about now. It's already falling apart. Good thing Lowe's is less than a mile away, if only they had better (read 24) hours. I am just glad I can fix stuff myself.

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